By Kelly Monaghan
Are you thinking of becoming a home-based travel agent? And are you considering a travel agent course to help you learn how to do it?
If so, this could be the most important article you’ll ever read because it can save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from making some costly mistakes at the beginning of your career.
Mistake #1: Don’t think you don’t need any travel agent training.
Yes, yes, you can learn the business in the “school of hard knocks. That’s what I did and it cost me several thousand dollars in dumb mistakes before I figured it all out.
Of course, when I got started, way back when, there weren’t a lot of options out there. That’s not true today.
There are a growing number of options available to you, which is both good and bad. Good because you have choice, bad because you run the risk of becoming confused and making some of the following mistakes.
Mistake # 2: Don’t pay for training you don’t need.
Many travel schools and travel agent training programs offer a lot of what I’d call “padding.” That’s because many of these courses were vocational programs for high school grads that needed to prove themselves to state academic accreditation boards.
But you’re not a kid. You’re a grown up who wants to start a business.
What you need – and it’s worth paying for – is inside information on how the business works. Surprisingly enough, not many travel schools teach that.
Mistake # 3: Don’t get GDS training – yet.
A GDS, or “global distribution system,” is a computerized booking tool that is used primarily to book and sell cheap, point-to-point airline tickets.
But these days there is little or no money to be made selling cheap air travel, so why would you want to spend good money learning how to use one?
Yet many travel agent courses teach GDS skills. In fact, they use that as one of their big selling points!
Most home-based travel agents make excellent money without ever going near a GDS.
Now, the time may come when having a GDS will make sense for you. But it will not be at the beginning of your career. So save your money.
Mistake #4: Don’t get trained by a host agency.
There are tons of outfits that will, for a fee, set you up as a travel agent by making you one of their home-based agents.
Most will give you some sort of training. Some will give you a fair bit, for which you’ll pay a fair bit, of course.
But here’s the catch. The host agency will only teach you what they want you to know.
They certainly won’t go out of their way to teach you how to establish direct relationships with suppliers so you can avoid splitting the commission with the host agency.
You are far better off getting training – from an unbiased source – that teaches you how the business really works and helps you understand the various types of host agencies and how they differ.
And once you know how the business works, you make come to the conclusion that you don’t need to work with a host agency at all!
Mistake #5: Don’t overpay.
You get what you pay for, they say. Well, maybe.
Don’t be fooled by high price tags. Instead look for value.
But don’t think that a cheap price tag is the way to go. There are a growing number of quickie e-books that claim to teach you how to become a travel agent in 60 pages of big type. Can’t be done.
Another way to overpay is to spend money that you can’t get back if you’re not satisfied.
Look for a solid money-back guarantee. I think you’ll be surprised at how few there are out there.
The best travel agent training is business- and sales-oriented. It is designed with your financial well-being in mind.
The best time to get it is before you’ve paid a lot of money on rash decisions.
For more information on the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, click here.